Stowell Church

Stowell Church

Is the next parish southward from Horsington, comprising a small stragglirig village, situated in a woody vale, and watered by a rivulet, which rises in Charleton-Horethorne, and runs through Milborne-Port into the Yeo near Sherborne. Another brook rising in a wood here passes through the parish of Abbot's-Combe. The landscape is chiefly pasture.

This place was anciently written Stanwelle or the Stone Fount, and is thus recorded in the Domesday Book: "Azeline [de Percheval] holds of the Bishop [of Coutances] STANWELLE. Turmund held it in the time of King Edward, and gelded for three hides. The arable is four carucates. In demesne are two carucates, and two servants, and five villanes, and seven bordars, and two cottagers, with two ploughs. There are sixteen acres of meadow, and five acres of pasture, and six acres of coppice wood. It was worth forty fhillings, now sixty shillings."

In the time of Edw. I. this manor was held by the family of Muscegros, of Charlton Musgrove, and consisted of two knight's fees, Hawise, the heir of Robert de Muscegros, was married to Sir William Mortimer, knt. who had the manor of Stowel, and died seized thereof [25 Edw. I]. Sir Edmund Molyns, knt. held the manor and the advowson of the church jointly-with Isabel his wife, of Sir Matthew de Gournay, as of his manor of Curry-Mallet, Sir John Tiptot, knt. Lord Powis, was seized of this manor [21 Hen. VI. and 13 Edw. IV], Elizabeth the widow of Robert Cappes, held the same at her death of Margaret Countess of Richmond, leaving John the son of Sir John Hody, knt, her heir. Christopher Hody, esq; died seized of the manor and advowson leaving John his son and heir. Samuel Dodington, esq; is the present lord of the manor. (1791

The living is a rectory in the deanery of Marston, it was valued in 1292 at seven marks, and is now in the patronage of Samuel Dodington, esq. The Rev. Mr. Pye is the present incumbent. The church is dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen, and is a small building fifty-fix feet long, and sixteen wide, being of one pace, with a square tower, rebuilt in the year 1748, and containing three bells. On the east wall of the chancel are the following inscriptions: —— "Here lieth the body of Thomas Mogg, rector, who died Nov. 27, 1708, Catharine Mogg, the wife of T. M. rector, was buried Aug. 14, 1684,"

"Believe aright, and live as you believe; and you cannot but die in safety."

The average christenings in this parish are three, the burials two annually.

(Taken from - The History & Antiquities of the County of Somerset, by the Rev'd J. Collinson 1791 - Available on CD Rom from Archive CD Books)

Stowell Village (as it is today)

Farmland around Stowell


This is a small Parish and the population would vary easily depending on how much work was available. Like Cucklington there was a simlar rise in population, then a falling back, then rising again slightly, before the gradual decline set in that is common to many rural communities from the early 20th century. - The following figures are mainly from census records.

1801 - 1861 - 69 male, 64 female = 133
1811 - 1871 - 52 male, 64 female = 116
1821 - 1881 - 46 male, 48 female = 94
1831 - 1891 - 47 male, 47 female = 94
1841 - 60 male, 57 female = 117 1901 - 48 male, 49 female = 97
1851 - 59 male, 44 female = 103  

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